Steak

steakI just finished reading the book, Steak, by Mark Schatzker.  You can find it at your local bookstore.

Excellent reading for the lay person and the beef producer alike.  While there are some minor things I would take issue with, they are entirely opinion based, or otherwise a matter of subjective thought vs. objective.

Anyway, during and after reading each page I couldn’t help but think of cooking a steak on the grill.  It made me question, too, the whole concept of quality in a steak.  Surely the USDA concept (graded entirely and solely based upon fat content of the ribeye) is not the standard to be trusted.

The author states that the best steak he ever ate was a grass-fed steak, and the worst steak he ever ate was a grass-fed steak.  Clearly not all grass-fed steaks are created equal.

That isn’t news to anyone, but it is exactly the premise behind commodity beef; that all steak is created equal or it can be “manufactured” like so many widgets.  I’m probably preaching to the choir in terms of folks looking at our website, but getting to know where your steak comes from is important to informing you of what it will taste like.Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

Soils are important, for they serve as the basis of how the forages grown on them will express themselves.  The forages grown on those soils are important to the flavor of the beef or milk or lamb or chevron.  Nuance of flavor in the meat is to be sought, as opposed the currently accepted practice of simply using the meat as a substrate upon which to put the sauce of choice; ie. Peter Lugers or some other such thing.

Did you know that Peter Lugers sauce actually started out as the house salad dressing?  Yep.  You know why it is now the house steak sauce?  Because it adds flavor to otherwise flavorless meat that is touted as steak.  Also it is a brilliant marketing and revenue stream for the restaurant business.

How does it work?  Well, you can buy the stuff in a store almost anywhere in the country and have a “steak” that tastes just the same at home as it does in the restaurant.  Easily done since the commodity beef that is served in the restaurant is the same stuff sold in the grocery store, has no flavor, and can thus serve as the same amorphous substrate for the sauce at home as in the restaurant.  Wonderful.

I challenge anyone reading this to find local, grass-fed steaks, preferably from as many producers as possible and try them out, sans sauce.  Push your local restaurants to source their beef, lamb, pork, chevron, milk, cheese, etc. from local producers.  This is the only way the highest quality in grass-fed, local products will be produced, through competition.

Also, you as consumers, will have more choice as to the flavors, textures, etc. that you encounter, just like it is with cheeses, beers, and wines.  The same can and should be said of steaks.